By Raan Parton
Photos by Davide Ugolini
With our recent restock of our Indigo Wool Chore Jacket, we wanted to share the laborious process of creating the exclusive Apolis indigo wool in Italy. We originally designed the jacket as an in-between style with a three-needle caballo construction to make it more of a nod to classic workwear pieces, but we updated the fit to be a bit copped and tailored, then added a club collar, a hidden placket, and a lot of pockets.
Our goal with this jacket style was to make an extremely versatile item — one which could be dressed up for the office or just worn with a T-shirt on the weekend. I don’t think we envisioned making this style for so long and having it turn into such an iconic piece for us. It’s really become a key item for the Apolis family and beyond, and it's been an honor to see something we made be a part of people's daily uniform.
These jackets are a labor of love, using a fabric exclusive to Apolis, which we've been making in Prato, Italy, for about eight years now. The mill we work with there has helped us develop a jacquard fabric using indigo-dyed wool and indigo-dyed cotton, along with nylon for some durability in the weaving. We first developed it with another mill in Prato that sadly went bankrupt. However, we were able to track down the textile technician we worked with, and then placed the ongoing orders with a new mill owned by Davide Ugolini. Davide has become a good friend over the years; we're always excited to host him in LA when he comes to visit, and vice versa when we make it over to Italy.
The fabric is designed as a jacquard, which means it takes twice as long to weave. We program the highs and lows into the fabric design and weaving process, using a very specific machine that makes rich and unique textiles, as opposed to using slub yarns. The result is a truly unusual piece, with indigo yarn dye that makes the fabric look even better with the years of wear and light washing. One production run takes about seven to eight months to make, so we can only really make 1.5 runs a year. The fabric takes ten weeks to weave and is then shipped to the US, which takes a month. After that, there are 12-14 weeks of production, finishing, and QC at an LA cut-and-sew studio we've been working with since we started. The process takes time, but the result is absolutely worth it.
Below, enjoy the behind-the-scenes story showing the laborious process behind the Indigo Wool Chore Jacket which takes place in Prato, Italy, before the jacket is sewn and finished in Los Angeles, California.